LaSalle Equitable Transit Oriented Development (ETOD) Request for Qualifications (RFQ) Questions and Answers
Questions and inquiries will be accepted from all interested parties until Friday May 20th, 2022 at 5:00 pm EST. No responses will be provided for questions and inquiries received after this time.
Question 1: The RFQ directs that responses should be concise and no more than 10 pages of narrative. Would you please confirm whether attachments such as developer team qualification brochures/resumes are acceptable in addition to the 10 page narrative limit?
Answer: Attachments and addendums are not included in the 10 page narrative limit so feel free to add those on.
Question 2: In preparation of a response for the LaSalle Station RFQ, I’d like to request any additional site information that may be available to evaluate the known site and environmental conditions of the location, as recommended in the RFQ. Can you please provide the high-level site analysis referenced in the RFQ, including available environmental information?
Answer: The Mayor’s Office of Strategic Planning conducted a site analysis of six parcels owned by the NFTA and the City of Buffalo in the LaSalle Station Area in order to assess potential challenges to an Equitable Transit Oriented Development at the site, in preparation for the release of this RFQ. Please email email@example.com to obtain a copy of the site analysis.
Question 3: Can you please provide a survey that indicates all easements that are on the site?
Answer: NFTA maintains a lease agreement for a Verizon Wireless Cellphone tower and a parking easement for My Kids Child Daycare. A copy of the lease agreement and parking easement are available upon request. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Question 4: Can you please provide any current plans that the City may have for expanding the North Buffalo Rails to Trails beyond the current trail head on the site?
Answer: There are no formal plans in place to expand the North Buffalo Rails to Trails beyond the current trail head on the site, however, early planning efforts are ongoing to explore the feasibility of an expansion to McCarthy Park.
Question 5: With respect to the vision shared by the City and NFTA for the ETOD, please describe the current thinking as to whether the LaSalle Station will remain as a Park & Ride Location and if so, what the current thinking is regarding the on-site parking that would be associated with that – surface or structured, number of spaces, etc. Will there be a requirement to maintain and/or replace public parking that currently exists on the site. If so, is there a certain number or percentage of spaces that must be maintained? Must those spaces be available to the public?
Answer: Any requirement to maintain or replace parking that currently exists on the site will be included in a formal Request for Proposals. Since this is a Request for Qualifications, we are seeking responses that demonstrate the applicants’ experience and ability to develop the site.
Question 6: Has the City engaged with any surrounding property owners, most specifically the Daycare to the rear of the site regarding inclusion into the redevelopment?
Answer: The City has not engaged surrounding property owners for inclusion in redevelopment. There is a parking easement that the Daycare maintains with the NFTA which is available upon request (please email email@example.com).
Question 7: Will the developer be required to maintain access to the daycare property through the properties included in the RFQ? What other accommodations, if any, will need to be made for that property?
Answer: Any requirements to maintain access to the daycare property will be included in a formal Request for Proposals.
Question 8: Can any of the city/NFTA owned properties on the East Side of Main Street be included in the development plan?
Answer: Any City and/or NFTA owned properties on the East Side of Main Street cannot be included in the development plan.
Question 9: The RFQ references potential environmental issues, is there a phase i/ii that details these further?
Answer: There have not been formal environmental assessments conducted at the development site. The Mayor’s Office of Strategic Planning conducted a high-level site analysis to assess potential environmental issues. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to obtain a copy of the site analysis.
Question 10: Is there a survey that shows where the subway station lies underground?
Answer: The NFTA does have engineering documents that show where the Metro Rail tunnel and related infrastructure lie underground and will be able to provide those at a later date upon the release of the Request for Proposals.
Question 11: Will the City/NFTA consider demolishing the existing train station, and incorporate a new entrance/platform as part of a new building?
Answer: Any requirement to maintain the existing station or consideration for it to be demolished will be defined in a formal Request for Proposals. Since this is a Request for Qualifications, we are seeking responses that demonstrate the applicants’ experience and ability to develop the site.
Question 12: Is the parking lot entirely owned by the city or does the daycare own a portion?
Answer: The Park and Ride Lot is owned by the City and NFTA- a site ownership map is included in the site analysis. The daycare does maintain a parking easement with the NFTA. Please reach out to email@example.com to obtain a copy of the site analysis and parking easement.
Question 13: Is there a timeline for the release of the RFP?
Answer: There is not a set timeline identified by the Mayor’s Office of Strategic Planning and NFTA but we expect the Request for Proposals to be released later this year.
Question 14: Section A of the RFQ requirements requests that the Development Description/Approach be included as a separate attachment. Is the separate attachment included in the 10 page limit?
Answer: The development description is included in the 10 page narrative limit, however if you have addendums or attachments to support your team’s qualifications and experience that is not included in the page limit.
Question 15: Is applicant participation in the GoBike/LISC WNY’s “Developing our Transit Future” initiative voluntary?
Answer: Respondents are encouraged to attend and participate in discussions for GoBike/LISC WNY’s “Developing our Transit Future” initiative. Participation is not mandatory.
Question 16: When are applicants supposed to commence participation? Now, before having qualified by the RFQ as a developer, or after the release of the RFQ results have been announced?
Answer: The workshop is ongoing , applicants are encouraged to participate in any of the workshop sessions as well as upcoming events that will take place later this summer. We will provide additional updates on upcoming events to this webpage.
Question 17: When are the series of public engagement opportunities taking place? Will it be after the RFQ announcement of qualified developers, but before the release of the RFP?
Answer: Go Bike Buffalo/LISC WNY’s “Developing our Transit Future” is taking place this summer. If you are interested in participating please visit GObike (gobikebuffalo.org). Further updates on upcoming events will be posted to the City website. No set timeline for additional public engagement opportunities has been established at this time.
Question 18: Does it have any relationship with the GoBike/LISC WNY’s “Developing our Transit Future” initiative ongoing or will this be a separate activity?
Answer: No formal plans for additional public engagement has been established at this time. Any updates will be posted to this webpage.
Question 19: Will only the applicants that are deemed as qualifying under the RFQ award be eligible to apply for the successor RFP? Put another way, can any other developers apply for the RFP without having been pre-qualified under the RFQ?
Answer: The desired outcome of the RFQ process is to identify qualified developers for a subsequent RFP process. The City will evaluate the RFQ submissions and make a determination in the future about any qualification requirement for respondents of a potential RFP.
Question 20: Will as few as none or one, as opposed to several of the respondents be deemed as qualifying?
Answer: As stated in the RFQ, the City reserves the right to stop the selection process at any time if it is considered to be in the best interest of the City. The City also reserves the right to reject any or all responses submitted
Question 21: Will the City/NFTA establish a minimum threshold to qualify so as to not unduly restrict robust participation in the RFP?
Answer: The City will invite all qualified respondents to respond to an official Request for Proposals that will be issued by the City and NFTA at a later date. The City reserves the right to reject any or all submissions submitted.
Question 22: What is the limit, if any, to including private properties in re-development? What will be the means to effect this?
Answer: Private properties surrounding the site are not considered in this RFQ. The six parcels owned by the City and the NFTA are included please reference the RFQ.
Question 23: This RFQ will be succeeded by a separate RFP that is assumed to provide specific development solution(s). What is the relevance and appropriateness of offering specific development solutions in this current RFQ phase? Shouldn't the RFQ responses be constrained to past, prior established credentials in ETOD development and not drift into proposals only appropriate for the RFP?
Answer: As stated in the RFQ, the City is looking to better understand respondents’ general approach the developer is considering for predevelopment aspects of the site. The purpose of the RFQ is to identify developers who have the experience and qualifications to redevelop the site stated in the RFQ. An RFP process may be undertaken subsequent to the RFQ process.